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Title: Kinetic simulations of plasmoid chain dynamics

The dynamics of a plasmoid chain is studied with three dimensional Particle-in-Cell simulations. The evolution of the system with and without a uniform guide field, whose strength is 1/3 the asymptotic magnetic field, is investigated. The plasmoid chain forms by spontaneous magnetic reconnection: the tearing instability rapidly disrupts the initial current sheet generating several small-scale plasmoids that rapidly grow in size coalescing and kinking. The plasmoid kink is mainly driven by the coalescence process. It is found that the presence of guide field strongly influences the evolution of the plasmoid chain. Without a guide field, a main reconnection site dominates and smaller reconnection regions are included in larger ones, leading to an hierarchical structure of the plasmoid-dominated current sheet. On the contrary in presence of a guide field, plasmoids have approximately the same size and the hierarchical structure does not emerge, a strong core magnetic field develops in the center of the plasmoid in the direction of the existing guide field, and bump-on-tail instability, leading to the formation of electron holes, is detected in proximity of the plasmoids.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ; ;  [5] ;  [6]
  1. High Performance Computing and Visualization (HPCViz) Department, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm (Sweden)
  2. Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis, CNRS, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, Nice (France)
  3. Centrum voor Plasma-Astrofysica, Department Wiskunde, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven (Belgium)
  4. Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala (Sweden)
  5. Department of Physics and CIPS, University of Colorado, Boulder 80309-0390 (United States)
  6. PDC and High Performance Computing and Visualization (HPCViz) Department, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm (Sweden)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22227859
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 20; Journal Issue: 8; Other Information: (c) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; APPROXIMATIONS; ASYMPTOTIC SOLUTIONS; KINK INSTABILITY; MAGNETIC CORES; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETIC RECONNECTION; PLASMA; PLASMA SHEET; PLASMA SIMULATION; PLASMOIDS; TEARING INSTABILITY; THREE-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS